The Northern Health Authority won’t rule out the privatization of a wide range of critical health services in communities throughout northern British Columbia.
The NHA, which is already seeking a private company to provide laundry services, is exploring a similar arrangement for the delivery of medical transcription, homemaking and residential care services.
And the health authority says this list could be expanded to include many more health services including payroll, finance, groundskeeping and trades functions.
The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) says privatizing these services will break up the health care team and undermine the northern economy.
“Privatization robs the health care system of accountability and bleeds family supporting wages out of communities and into corporate coffers,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.
“I urge the NHA to put the communities it serves ahead of the ideologically-driven directives it receives from Victoria.”
Allnutt says the HEU is discussing alternatives to privatization with NHA officials and is hopeful a solution can be found that shows respect for the skills, experience and commitment of front-line health care workers.
Currently, there are more than 2,000 HEU members working in health care facilities throughout the north.
Kathy Jessome, northern director,
Patty Gibson, communications officer,
604-456-7007 or 604-328-7393 (cell)